From today's Christian Science Monitor:
Federal prosecutors and New York lawyer James Marsh are persuading courts to order anyone caught with illicit images to pay financial restitution to child victims.
Federal prosecutors are embracing an aggressive approach to fight the spread of child pornography on the Internet, urging judges across the country to order full restitution to identified child victims in cases where the defendant possessed the images but played no role in their creation.
Generally, restitution is awarded in cases where a defendant's direct actions caused the injuries suffered by the victim. In a child pornography case, the person most responsible for injuring the child is the pedophile who abused the child, recorded images of the abuse, and then traded or sold those images to others.
But child-victim advocates say that is not the only harm. Those who download child pornography help set the stage for future abuse by fostering an active market for such images.
This novel - and controversial - strategy is the brainchild of New York lawyer James Marsh. He represents a 20-year-old woman who was raped and sexually abused at age 8 or 9 by an uncle who recorded the abuse and sent the images to a pedophile who requested them. The resulting still photographs have been actively traded on the Internet since 1998.
Read this entire article by Warren Richey in the Christian Science Monitor.